Proud Pads

7 Nov

proud pads 2

I spent a lovely morning helping fellow Swansea artist and designer, Laura Niehorster, in her new enterprise, Proud Pads. Laura needed a hand cutting out the material to make a new batch of her eco-friendly re-usable sanitary pads. I think it’s a brilliant idea and they look really fun and funky too.

proud pads 1

You can catch up with what Laura is doing here and click here to find out about market testing Proud Pads.

Hydrangea

6 Nov

https://wp.me/pFqe5-NQ

Reblogged from David Reid, a delightful little work 

Jelly And Liquitex

5 Nov

liquitex 4

So, still experimenting with the Gelli Arts plate, this time trying out Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic paint. It gives excellent coverage and takes textures really well. Almost all the ink comes off onto the paper – Daler Rowney cartridge 90gsm – with gentle rubbing, leaving very little for a ‘ghost’ print. The only problem I think is that the colours are very intense, it’s high quality paint, and I either need to experiment with more subtle methods of removing and blending the paint on the plate or find some sort of medium to thin out the intensity of the colour without making the paint more watery.

 

More Jelly Experiments

4 Nov

I’m continuing top experiment with gel plate printmaking using a Gelli Arts plate. Today I tried it with Essdee block printing ink, staying with Daler Rowney cartridge paper (90gsm) for consistency,

essdee 10

The Essdee inks are easy to use, roll out nicely and take a good texture from bubblewrap and scrunchy tissue paper. The ink prints easy with a firm hand rub but leaves a faint and disappointing ‘ghost’ or secondary image. It cleans off easily with babywipes.

Getting Ready

3 Nov

 

I’m getting ready to carry on with some experimentation. Here’s my equipment ….

equipment

Winter Woodland

1 Nov

Winter Woodland

 

I have three drawings in the forthcoming winter exhibition at the lovely Workers Gallery in Ynyshir, running from November 9th to December 23rd. It’s a gorgeous gallery, a local library closed because of government cutbacks and saved for the community by artists Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams. The theme this year is Winter Woodland. I’m not a landscape artist but I always carry a sketchbook with me and draw whatever’s in front of me and it just happens that I’m often in the countryside. That’s one of my drawings on the poster, on the right hand side. I hope you can make it to the gallery at some time, it’s really gorgeous.

 

Swedes, Spit And Soft Apples

1 Nov

Swedes, Spit And Soft Apples

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So it’s Halloween again and the streets are full of moppets in Gothic whimsy collecting enough sugary snacks to keep them in sugar rushes until the Easter Bunny brings them shed loads of chocolate. It wasn’t like this when I were a lass.

The boy opposite’s Dad carved him a swede (rutabaga) because pumpkins didn’t exist in those days, not in the UK anyway. It was a nice fat, round swede, pumpkin shaped but smaller. I was impressed and wanted one too so I went into Mam’s kitchen and found a small, shrivelled, rather conical swede and demanded that my Dad carved it for me. Dad was just back from the pub and swaying and I don’t know how he carved it without ending up in A&E (ER), but he managed to gouge out a hollow bit in the middle, stab a couple of mismatched holes for eyes and a slash for a grimace and Mam found the stub of a candle (there were no  night lights back then) and I went out with it proudly. The boy opposite snorted with derisive laughter and mocked me. I was bereft. 😦

Mam tried to cheer me up by organising an apple bob. She rounded up a few neighbour’s children (including the boy opposite with the flashy swede) and poured some water into a washing up bowl and threw in a few apples that had been in the fruit bowl awhile getting soft. They had to be soft for bobbing because you couldn’t sink your teeth into hard ones. The boys rushed forward, jostling each other and dived into the water face first, biting at the apples. I hung back and watched the carnage with distaste – the bowl was murky with little-boy spit. Ychafi (an ancient Welsh exclamation of disgust). Ychafi!

“Go on”, Mam said, “you too”. “No thanks”, I said, crestfallen, clutching my shrivelled mutant swede, watching the boys scoffing the soft apples with saliva dripping down their chins. “I’ll leave it”.

Letting People Play

30 Oct

tree cat

I’m working for a charity that supports very vulnerable people, running arts and craft sessions. I work in different venues across the city and I tailor the sessions to suit them and their clients. This evening was about letting people play. It wasn’t a formal session aiming to teach fine arts or enabling people to turn out a well-crafted item, but a chance to just mess around and have a bit of fun.

 

 

I took some lovely chine collé tissue papers made from recycled saris and a couple of boxes of stamps, the ones that kids use, and an ink pad. I encouraged people to try stamping the tissues repetitively to make a pattern and / or to overlay them to get a pictorial effect.

 

 

Then we put them into little ready-made mounts which set them off nicely. Quick, cheap, easy and fun. People need to play and those living in dire circumstances often don’t get that chance. Providing a safe space for arts and crafts can give them the opportunity.

Testing Testing One Two Three

29 Oct
SOB7

The final layered print

I tried out a new printmaking technique today, gel printing with a commercial Gelli plate. It’s part of the equipment I’ve been given for my part-time job running art sessions with people who are homeless and insecurely housed. The instructions just said to use paper and acrylic paint but were no more specific than that so I wanted to try out some of the different acrylic media I have hanging around to see which worked best. First off, water-based printing inks from Seawhite of Brighton. The inks blended well on the plate, took the textures I pressed into them, printed easily onto a basic Daler Rowney cartridge paper (90gms) and cleaned up really well. I used baby wipes on the gel plate and warm water on the roller. Easy peasy.

I also tried the process with two other acrylic media, Liquitex acrylic inks and Winsor & Newton’s Galeria acrylic paints.

SOB8

 

The Liquitex inks were too runny for this process and smeared rather than rolled across the plate. They didn’t take the texturing well and quite a bit of ink was left on the plate afterwards. It’s a pity because the colours are gorgeous. The makers recommend trying a heavier Liquitex paint.

 

Lastly, I used the Winsor & Newton acrylic paints. They felt quite dry while I was rollering them onto the Gelli plate but they seemed to take the textures well. However, the inks didn’t transfer well to the paper, they dried out very quickly and I had trouble cleaning the roller.

SOB9

The results are okay for a first session. I’m used to doing monotypes onto a hard perspex (plexiglass) surface and I’m not sure whether I would use this technique for my own printmaking, but I need to do more experiments. I can see me using this technique to produce collage papers though. Next time, I think I’ll try with my Caligo Easywash inks and Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic. I’ll let you know …..

 

PHEW!

28 Oct

I’ve been out and about today, mostly at the 10th birthday celebrations of local Elysium Gallery and I didn’t get to do any art for my blog, so I thought I’d post this one from 4 years ago. It’s a bit technical; I had been making some colour-separation monotypes for an exhibition ……

 

Source: PHEW!

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